As a company, we want to contribute to an economy that respects the planet's boundaries and guarantees basic social rights. We want to take this responsibility by systematically including ecological, social, and economic considerations in our daily policy.
design and production
We design and produce our clothing in our own production locations in Belgium, the UK, Spain, Tunisia, Morocco, Laos and Madagascar.
We screen these production units internally, of course, but we also have them checked by external parties. All clothing is designed according to the principle of ecodesign. But we always start from the needs of the wearer to guarantee the longest possible use.
We strive to reuse by building in repairability through smart confection, we strive to use fabrics that can be recycled into fibres again. We use Oekotex-100 certified fabrics, which do not contain any harmful chemicals.
Every year we measure the CO2 footprint of the entire production chain (scope 1, 2 AND 3).
The first goal is to reduce emissions by using fabrics that have overall lower emissions (like Alsiflex), switching to low-emission transport, and switching to 100% renewable energy in production. In addition, we are planning to biodiverse ‘green dots’ in each of our production locations.
Also, we compensate for the emissions caused by the production of our own collection and transport through a tree planting program. It is an in-setting program, in which we will plant trees that act as effective carbon sinks. The native species help to restore ecosystems that are severely affected by erosion. Planting is done with the help of the local population, who receive yield trees such as coffee, cocoa, or lychee to be able to do a more sustainable type of agriculture.
To become Net Zero+ by 2040
How alsico group is contributing to global sustainability?
1. Being overly ambitious
With climate and biodiversity crises biting, and menacing the livelihoods around the globe, we know this is only possible when it comes with the strongest of ambitions. That is why the alsico group, has chosen to aim for two very clear, but immensely ambitious sustainability goals for the year 2040:
Net zero+ has to lead to a reduction of 90% of CO2e emissions compared to the base year 2022. Tools we will put in place: a yearly GHG emissions accounting and report, a net zero plan verified by the science-based targets initiative, and an environmental due diligence assessment tool on the whole supply chain.
Two of the 7 SMART-subgoals will be major drivers to reach net zero:
- 100% of our products shall be eco-designed aiming at maximum lifespan, repairability, and recyclability
- 100% of our raw materials shall comply with our preferred inputs list (compliant with the ZDHC roadmap to zero, maximal microfiber reduction, no fossil fuel-based fibers, recyclable fibers, cotton sourcing from 3rd party verified sustainable sourcing programs)
Living wage+ aims at continuous monitoring of living wage at all alsico locations, closing existing gaps between paid and living wage in a timely manner and in agreement with local stakeholders.
Tools we will put in place:
A Living Wage Calculator (based on the Anker methodology) for each alsico location, a social and human rights due diligence assessment tool on the whole supply chain. We have 5 subgoals ranging from a hardship fund for our employees that allows them to weather unexpected situations with severe financial impact, to gender equality, including leadership programs and special protection of young employees.
2. Reporting on environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts on all the units
For the very first time, alsico group reports on the ESG impacts of all its locations. We gather data on our 17 units, business as well as production units. Including diversity and employment data on people who work at our company.
But also energy and material consumption and a complete and externally verified Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions report.
With the data collected from all 17 units, we were able to calculate direct emissions (scope 1), indirect emissions from electricity purchase (scope 2) and all other indirect emissions from non-owned production means (scope 3).
This gives us a base year against which we will measure our future improvements. We know now that alsico group has emitted 406.430 tonnes CO2e over 2022.
So now we know that we have to get to 40.643 tonnes if we want to achieve our long-term Net Zero goal by 2040. We will keep track of progress by publishing a yearly GHG emission report.
Since we committed to the science-based target initiative, we will have our GHG-reduction plans verified and followed up by SBTi.
Adding to that, we strive to have our processes verified in the context of external audits/assessments like Oeko-tex STeP.
We will recur to the highest standards for health and safety, environmental impact, social responsibility, and quality management. By monitoring this powerful improvement cycle we can ensure we will achieve our objectives.
As a part of the larger effort, alsico group partners with Better Cotton to improve cotton farming globally.
A member of the Better Cotton since 2021, alsico group aims to source all its fibres in a sustainable way by the end of this decade. As part of this effort, we are committed to sourcing 100% of our cotton as ‘more sustainable cotton’ by 2030. ‘More sustainable cotton’ includes recycled cotton, organic cotton, cotton sourced from Fairtrade or through Better Cotton.
meet our sustainable leadership team
Jo Van Landeghem
Sustainability & Education Manager
Jo grew up in the former family knitwear factories in Sint-Niklaas, sparking at a very young age his fascination for everything involving designing, manufacturing, and repairing quality products.
Unfortunately during the last decades, the global industry evolved from sustainable "quality products buying" to unsustainable "product price buying", triggering his passion to help make the industry sustainable again.
So throughout his career path, he purposely went through all possible industry steps to better understand all the crucial roles/jobs we all have when we procure, design, manufacture, inspect, market, repair, and recycle quality products.
With those new insights, he started focusing on sustainability and how to create impact. “Sustainability is no longer about doing less harm. It’s about doing more good.”
Hence this path has led to alsico where we rethink our products, the materials that we use, the manufacturing techniques, the energy we use, the way we use products during their lifetime, the impact we have on our employees' daily lives, and many more aspects that will ensure there is a tomorrow for all of us.
Sustainability & Education Coordinator
Pauline graduated as a fashion technologist in Gent. That’s where her interest in product quality in the workwear and PPE industry ignited. She started her career at the Belgian federation of companies active in fashion, clothing and manufacturing. There she gave industry-related advice on quality, safety and sustainability topics.
She mainly worked on public procurements for governance instances. She was writing the technical file and setting requirements, evaluating the entries and production.
Pauline believes that with quality comes sustainability. It’s not a checkbox for a company but needs to be intertwined within every process. Alsico has that mindset. And with alsico striving to be the voice of the industry it was only logical to want to be part of this team and make a change.